Singled Out: Echo Screen (Ace Enders)
When I write songs, it usually takes me about 9 months to a year to actually finish a song. Rather than just rushing to the end, I like to let the song sit in my brain and kind of grow over time. This song stared during a vacation to Europe in 2007. We rented a car in Munich and drove to Amsterdam through the Germany. During the ride, the CCR song "Looking Out My Back Door" came on, and I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I needed to write a song that was as carefree and rambling as that song. So I set out to write a song about my days in Amsterdam after I got there with that sort of vibe in mind.
After we got there, I immediately had the first line of the song stuck in my and it was bothering my wife to no end because she would start talking to me, but I was just ignoring her and making sure I remembered the melody. Eventually, I finished all the lyrics when I got back from the vacation a couple months later. I always feel like I have a better grasp of events in my past then when they are actually going on.
The structure of the song is really important to the lyrics and the whole vibe. What I call the verse, or the reprise, when I say "We were lost in Amsterdam…" is just this really fun sort of relaxed sort of vibe. The part of the vacation when you are hanging at a café or standing around planning your next move. Then you are led into the other part of the song by a frantic drum roll and all of the instruments pick up. This represents those memories you have of a vacation rolling around in your head, and the idea that you are just running from one place to another during the day, trying to cram in all this fun.
Then I wrote this kind of "old timey" piano part as an interlude just to add some more levity to the vibe. I go to Disney World a lot, and they always have these guys playing piano music like that on these old tack pianos. So I felt like this worked in my mind perfectly.
Right before the end there is a part of the song where the tempo slows down a bunch (which is again inspired by "Looking Out My Back Door") and this sort of represents that point of the vacation when you start to realize you are almost done, and you get kind of sad. But then the tempo returns to normal, which is sort of like someone saying "let's squeeze all the fun into these last few hours of vacation" I know all of that is sort of corny, but I think it really works.
When we recorded the song, Ace Enders (who produced the 5 new songs on "Goodbye Old Life") really helped to round the guitars out. We came up with this telecaster riff that runs through most of the verses, and it wound up being my favorite guitar part on the CD. Just these little two-string plucks that compliment the chord changes perfectly. I really couldn't be happier with how the song came to life.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!
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